The Youth Advisory Board, known as FORWARD, gives youth in foster care and alumni the opportunity to have a voice and make meaningful, positive changes in relevant statewide policies and practices.
Members also get the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to become effective leaders in their communities.
The goals of FORWARD
- Provide a forum for youth to make systemic changes
- Build positive connections between youth, the community and adult partners
- Provide a space for strategic planning, advocacy development and policy/best practice
- Help youth as they transition out of care
- Promote a positive image of foster youth
- Plan the Annual Youth Conference and Youth Development Program Picnic
Members include youth ages 14 to 23 who are/have been in foster care and who are enrolled in the Youth Development Program. Youth who are unable to attend meetings but still put in time with youth leadership activities and are actively working to achieve FORWARD goals can serve as honorary members.